Thoughts From a Dad Who Just Moved His Daughter to College

Yesterday we moved our daughter into her college dorm.

Over 4,000 freshmen are attending Liberty University this Fall, and they all moved into their dorms on the same day! Traffic was bumper to bumper over the entire campus, but the Liberty Student-Leaders were stationed to direct traffic, answer questions, and even to carry all of the luggage! They made the process so easy.

We spent several hours working on Gabby’s room – unpacking her boxes, organizing her clothes, rearranging the room, making her bed, etc. Her roommate is wonderful, and Gabby also knows a couple of other people on campus.

Carrie (my incredible and beautiful wife) and Gabby had done such an great job thinking through the details before the move. In fact, that afternoon we ended up only having to do a quick run for a few items. After a wonderful dinner with friends, we returned to the dorm, and soon the finishing touches were complete.

Saying goodbye was not as difficult as I thought it would be. Perhaps because we were all so busy doing things and keeping our minds on what was practical. Or perhaps because it was getting late and we were all a bit tired.

Or perhaps it was because there is such a peace in our hearts, knowing that Gabby is exactly where God wants her to be.

I couldn’t be any more proud of her. She is so ready for this new season of life.

The drive home was made easy by the great conversation. Carrie and I were so glad that one of our spiritual daughters – Krysta – made the trip with us. We even got to talk with Gabby on the phone before she went to bed. She was doing great.

This morning I rose early and immediately missed my girl. I am fighting tears as I write these words.

Funny how you can experience sorrow and joy all at the same time.

Jesus said that life would be like that – momentary sorrow, everlasting joy.

Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (‭John‬ ‭16‬:‭19-24‬ ESV)

Why would we want to endure the “sorrow” of being away from our girl?
Because there is a greater joy in knowing that she is growing, learning, and experiencing all that God has planned for her life!

The joy far outweighs the sorrow, and it certainly will outlast it!

Father, today I pray for parents who are sending their kids off – whether it is to kindergarten or college, marriage or the mission field. Help us to rest in your peace and to receive the everlasting joy of knowing that “all of our children shall be taught of The Lord, and great shall be the peace of our children.” (Isaiah 54:13)

In Jesus’ name, amen.

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